If you like passing offense, San Diego State taking on Air Force is not going to be the game for you.
Heading into this game, Falcons quarterback Haaziq Daniels has just 48 pass attempts, 553 passing yards, and two touchdown passes. Shockingly, when he does rarely throw, he seems to be open to throwing it downfield, with a yards-per-attempt metric over 11.
On the other side of the ball, we’re not even totally sure who will be starting this game for the Aztecs. Last week in an ugly 19-13 over San Jose State, Jordon Brookshire was relieved of his duties in favor of senior quarterback Lucas Johnson.
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While Johnson did throw two touchdowns in overtime, he’s had a couple of other outings this season that was not in any way threatening through the air.
In his two starts against Utah and Towson, Johnson managed 44 attempts for less than 200 yards, a 2.3 yards-per-attempt total against Utah, but did throw two passing touchdowns.
Whether he draws the start or Brookshire is put back in the starting lineup, this game is going to be centered on the ground game.
Which unit will come out on top? Let’s find out. For in-depth analysis of this CFB bet of the day and others, continue reading.
San Diego State vs. Air Force Prediction
Regardless of where you look, the market will have this game in the four-point or three and a hook range.
Neither team is prolific through the air, so we need to look at the ground games.
The Falcons have amassed nearly 30 touchdowns on the ground, with Daniels leading the way at nine, which is wild to think about. This team has taken the “air" out of “Air Force."
The Aztecs have the best defense in the Mountain West Conference, but there doesn’t appear for a case to be made that the Aztecs will be able to throw this rushing attack.
Aztecs EDGE Cameron Thomas is the best player on defense, and while he should be able to create some pressure on Daniels, the threat of this rushing attack the Falcons will deploy will “outrun" the Aztecs.
Betting Pick: Air Force 24, San Diego State 18
San Diego State vs. Air Force Best Bets
Best Bet: Air Force -3.5 (-110) at Caesars
Assuming Brookshire is out, that takes away a rushing threat for the Aztecs. Johnson can move a little bit, but Brookshire’s four touchdowns on 16 totes provide another element to an offense that cannot pass successfully.
The other wrinkle to keep in mind is, even though it’s not often, Daniels is willing to chuck it downfield when needed, though sparingly. We bring this up because Johnson is not interested in doing that, averaging 4.8 yards per attempt.
Air Force will run all over this defense.
Best Bet: Air Force Moneyline (-175) at Caesars
The majority of the money is coming in on the Aztecs. This is likely because of the hook instead of a straight three. At home, though, Air Force already has the edge, and after looking at the rushing attacks, Air Force will win this one.
The pass coverage in this game is almost irrelevant based on the lack of passing we can project.
Best Bet: Over 39 (-110) at WynnBET
The Falcons and Aztecs run the ball on 89 percent and 61 percent of their offensive plays, respectively.
That would typically be an endorsement of lower scoring, but that isn’t the case on the side of the Falcons, who have scored 24 or more points every game this season except for one.
Both of these rushing attacks have the capabilities to take it to the house at any given moment, and we could see each of these teams rip off massive runs to put each team in good positions to score.
Don’t let each team’s knack for running the ball scare you away from a College Football total under 40.